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Ateneo Dominates La Salle in UAAP Women’s Basketball Final Four

Ateneo completed the Final Four cast in the UAAP Season 86 women’s basketball tournament after turning back also-ran Far Eastern University, 79-66, on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Kacey Dela Rosa was nearly unstoppable with 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting and tallied 12 rebounds and three blocks to lead the Blue Eagles to their second straight Final Four appearance with an 8-4 record and still in the running for a twice-to-beat edge.

But the sophomore Ateneo star is not contented with a Final Four appearance, joining defending champion National University (11-1) and joint second placers University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas (9-3) as their ultimate goal is to win the championship.

“We can’t be contented wherever we are right now. We have to push harder because we’re really [going for the] championship,” said the Season 85 Rookie of the Year.

Sarah Makanjuola was also instrumental for Ateneo with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Sandra Villacruz tallied 13 points, five assists, and four rebounds, while Junize Calago contributed 11 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds.

Their win also slammed the door on last year’s runner-up La Salle, whose 5-7 record was not enough to reach the Final Four.

“That was our initial goal, to make the Final Four so we made the last bus. Last year, we were just happy to make the Final Four but now, we’re looking forward to more,” said Ateneo head coach LA Mumar.

The Lady Tamaraws absorbed their fourth straight loss with a 3-9 record despite Joann Nagma’s career game of 18 points. Josee Kaputu committed three fouls in the first quarter, but still managed to tally 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Shane Salvani and Jaina Del Prado added 12 and 10 markers, respectively.

Meanwhile, UST took down the also-ran Adamson University, 76-70, to keep the twice-to-beat advantage on track.

Kent Pastrana led UST with 24 points to go with five rebounds and four steals. Tantoy Ferrer had eight points and 10 rebounds, while Brigette Santos also scored eight.

“Let’s not take away (anything) from Adamson,” said UST coach Haydee Ong. “They played really well today. We did crucial stops in the last two minutes that gave us the win.”

Adamson dropped to a 3-9 record. Cheska Apag led the team with 16 points, nine rebounds, and three steals while Victoria Adeshina had 15 points and 12 rebounds.